Australia's magical retreating border

Peter Boyle peterb at
Thu Nov 6 21:50:26 MST 2003

This latest press release from Greens Senator Bob Brown
illustrate why it would be totally irresponsible of any
serious socialist publication in Australia to not keep
attacking, criticising and exposing the Australian Labor


No support for Green moves to stop migration zone changes

The Australian Greens have been unable to convince Labor to
help them block new Federal Government regulations excluding
thousands of islands from Australia's migration zone.

The Government excised the islands earlier this week as a
boat carrying 14 suspected asylum seekers approached
Melville Island, off Darwin.

The Greens needed the support of a majority of senators to
disallow the regulations, but Labor does not want the matter
dealt with today.

The Senate has been recalled for one day to consider listing
two militant groups as terrorist organisations.

Greens leader Bob Brown says the Government's regulations
should have been debated and blocked.

"This is the division of Australia into two areas, one which
has legitimacy under the law, the other which does not, by a
Government acting in a cavalier fashion as if this
Parliament does not count," Mr Brown said.


Australia’s magical retreating border (only for the purposes
of the Migration Act – it claims and seeks to enforce the
maximum possible Offshore Economic Zone allowable under the
so-called Law of Sea) is notorious. It is the distinctive
contribution of the present Liberal-National Coalition
government headed by John Howard to the racist war against
asylum seekers who periodically seek to enter Australia from
the north in unseaworthy boats.

The second most notorious feature of this war against
refugees is the mandatory and indefinite detention without
trial of such refugees, children included, which has been
condemned by the UN Human Rights Commission and even the
local Family Court (for being an abuse of children’s
rights). It was introduced by the previous Labor, yes,
Labor, government.

After it introduced this reactionary law it was implemented
by Immigration ministers who belonged to the so-called
“left” of the ALP.

In this situation, publications like Green Left Weekly have
a duty to consistently criticise and report faithfully each
and every reactionary step of the ALP. It would be deceiving
its readers if it suppressed such reports or comments.

Peter Boyle

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